© Hendrik Meersschaert, 2002 - 2017
THE FRENCH COLONIAL MEDAL TYPES
Over the years the Colonial Medal has been manufactured, officially or privately, by a number of firms. Furthermore, some marginal types can be found and the Vichy French government even provided for a different planchet. To go into detail on all these models is not within the scope of this webpage and, once again, reference is made to the excellent books on this subject ("La Médaille Coloniale, Cent Ans de Présence Française Outre-Mer" by Mr. Jean Hass and "La Médaille coloniale - Guide du collectionneur" by Mr. Patrick Binet).
Generally, the official types and the first privately made types all used the same planchet, as manufactured by the Paris Mint, whereas the marginal, non-identified, artisan, Vichy government's models and the second series of privately manufactured types do not. Maker's marks and/or silver marks are often found and will give indications as to the type.
The various models are :
First Official type - planchet manufactured by the Paris Mint (silver marks in the medal's rim), suspension by either Mercier, Camille Roux or J. Salat - note the "teeth" on the suspension bar for a firm grip on the ribbon.
Marginal Models - various types and combinations exist.
First types privately made by
All of these medals have Paris Mint planchets (silver mark on the rim) and only the suspension differs.
Intermediary Official Type - using the same first type planchet, the reverse suspension is plain.
Second Official type : a new planchet, still manufactured by the Paris Mint, is used (silver marks now on the reverse) and the reverse suspension is plain.
Second types privately made by
A.D. Marie Ingénieur
A. Marie Stuart
London type - manufactured by the firm of John Robert Gaunt during WWII (J.R.G. on the reverse)
Non-identified Models - several have been encountered
Artisan Models - usually easily recognizable because of their coarseness.
Vichy Government type - the obverse planchet has "ETAT FRANCAIS" instead of "REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE".